Thursday, April 25, 2024

MAV welcomes new electoral structures for 39 councils

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has welcomed today’s news that the Victorian Government will amend the electoral structures of 39 councils ahead of the 2024 local government general elections in October.

The Association said it is pleased that Minister for Local Government, Melissa Horne, has provided certainty on electoral structures.

“The important decision to adapt different approaches for different councils – four councils to multi-member wards, five to an unsubdivided structure and 30 to single-member wards – highlights the fact that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for local government,” said MAV President, Councillor David Clark.

“And with elections now just eight months away, it will be critical that the final 10 reviews happen in a timely manner.”

Minister Horne announced the upcoming changes today having accepted the recommendation of the Electoral Representation Advisory Panels (ERAPS) – noting these new electoral representation arrangements will ensure councils are more reflective of the communities they represent.

“The Electoral Representation Advisory Panels have delivered thorough work over an extensive period to ensure that Victorian councils will be set up to effectively represent their communities,” said Minister Horne.

“These new ward boundaries will be in place for the local government elections this year – an important step in our work to reform local government and meet the expectations of communities right across Victoria.”

Initially established under the Local Government Act 2020, the change in legislation has seen extensive work and engagement from ERAPS over the past 15 months to ensure councils become compliant with the new requirements, the Minister said.

She said the panels’ reviews have been completed with time to allow for candidates and the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to implement the necessary planning ahead of the general elections.

The structure amendment will see 30 councils change to a single-member ward structure, except in those cases  where ERAPs have recommended the council have uniform multi-member wards or an unsubdivided structure. 

Four councils will change to a multi-member ward structure: Buloke Shire Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Surf Coast Shire Council and Yarriambiack Shire Council.

A further five councils will change to an unsubdivided structure: Campaspe Shire Council, Gannawarra Shire Council, Hepburn Shire Council, Moorabool Shire Council and Strathbogie Shire Council.

Formed in October 2022, the Electoral Representation Advisory Panels provided advice to the Victorian Government on the recommended structures and included community engagement to ensure local views were considered. This work was supported by the VEC who provided technical and administrative support.

The panels subsequently made recommendations for the total number of councillors for each municipality, the ward structure, the number of wards, number of councillors per ward, ward boundaries and names.

The 30 councils that will change to a single-member ward structure include: 

  • Ballarat City Council
  • Brimbank City Council
  • Casey City Council
  • Central Goldfields Shire Council
  • Corangamite Shire Council
  • Frankston City Council
  • Glen Eira City Council
  • Greater Bendigo City Council
  • Greater Geelong City Council
  • Greater Shepparton City Council
  • Hobsons Bay City Council
  • Horsham Rural City Council
  • Hume City Council
  • Latrobe City Council
  • Maribyrnong City Council
  • Melton City Council
  • Merri-bek City Council
  • Mildura Rural City Council
  • Monash City Council
  • Moonee Valley City Council
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
  • Mount Alexander Shire Council
  • Port Phillip City Council
  • Stonnington City Council
  • Wangaratta Rural City Council
  • Warrnambool City Council
  • Whittlesea City Council
  • Wodonga City Council
  • Wyndham City Council
  • Yarra City Council

“The MAV is passionate about seeing the best possible candidates putting their hand up for election. We encourage anyone thinking about representing their community in this important way to understand these changes and how they impact the election process,” said President Clark.

“You can do so by attending one of our ‘Stand For Council’ information sessions across the state throughout the year or reaching out directly.”

The new electoral boundary details are available at localgovernment.vic.gov.au/council-governance/electoral-representation-advisory-panels-eraps.

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